Learn a new Very Important Plant (VIP) every week of the Environmental Extravaganza and be entered to win prizes.



Urban Forest VIPs

Surrey's urban forest is made up of Very Important Plants (VIPs) that contribute to biodiversity, provide wildlife habitat, clean our air and water, and promote physical and mental wellness.

Starting April 22, meet a new VIP every week of the Environmental Extravaganza.

  1. Discover – learn about this week’s VIP.
  2. Explore – visit your local park to meet it in person.
  3. Win – tell us what you’ve learned with a quick quiz.

Everyone who participates will receive a prize, and will also be entered into a grand prize draw. Prizes will be sent out at the end of the contest period. New VIP and quiz questions will be posted here each week.

Read the Official Contest Rules and Regulations

Week 3: May 16–22

This week’s VIP is Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)


Douglas-fir trees have thick, grey-brown, rough bark with deep grooves or ridges. Leaves (or needles) are long, flat, and green with pointy ends. Douglas-fir trees are coniferous which means that they produce cones and their leaves do not fall off in the winter.  

Douglas-fir cones have thin, papery scales that have bracts (outer cone scales) that look like mice hiding in the cones. Look for two feet and a tail poking out of the sides!

Douglas-fir tree cone.


Douglas-fir tree bark.


VIP Status 

Douglas-fir trees are very important because they can live for a long time – the oldest verified Douglas-fir tree is a whopping 1460 years old! Its wood makes it one of the most valuable sources of lumber in the world. In the forest, its seeds provide food for mammals and birds including our cheeky, native Douglas squirrel

What can you do? 

Search for some towering Douglas-firs in Surrey’s urban forest by exploring a nearby nature trail. Alternatively, take the Great Trees of Surrey tour from the comfort of your own home. 




Previous Weeks' VIPs